Scandal-ridden Ozy Media
finds itself in some other demark.
According to an indictment that was unsealed in federal court in Brooklyn yesterday (Feb. 23), the company and its executives have been running a multi-meg dollar
scheme to defraud investors.
Carlos Watson, a former Goldman Sachs banker and MSNBC host, founded the company that produced left-leaning podcasts, television series, and events in Mountain View, California, in 2013. The charges comprehend the period b
etween 2018 and 2021 and accuse
Watson and Ozy executives Samir Rao and
Suzee Han of lying
about the company’s financial health, celebrity endorsements, and investments, going every bit far as impersonating other media executives and instructing employees to create imitation documents to pass due diligence processes.
On Feb. 23, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
Ozy Media, Watson, Rao, and Han with defrauding investors of “approximately $50 million through repeated misrepresentations concerning the company’due south basic fiscal condition, business relationships, and fundraising efforts,” adding that Rao and Han have agreed to resolve the charges confronting them. The SEC is seeking injunctive relief and ceremonious penalties, officer and director bars, and disgorgement with prejudgment interest.
Additionally, the Usa Section of Justice has launched its own probe into the company.
Ozy founder Carlos Watson’s scam, past the digits
How much Watson and his co-conspirators attempted to induce a fiscal institution to invest betwixt November 2020 through February 2021 “by means of material misrepresentations and omissions regarding Ozy’s historical and projected financial results, debts, and concern relationships,” equally per
the United States Attorney’south office
for the Eastern District of New York
How much Watson would’ve been paid personally from the $45 million investment
At least 100%:
How much the Watson and his co-conspirators “routinely and purposely” inflated Ozy Media’s almanac revenue by, co-ordinate to the SEC
Bond Watson paid
yesterday (Feb. 23) after pleading non guilty at his arraignment
Maximum sentence Watson faces,
“Carlos Watson is a con human,” says US attorney
“As alleged, Carlos Watson is a con man whose business strategy was based on outright deceit and fraud–he ran Ozy equally a criminal organization rather than as a reputable media company. Investment fraud undermines confidence in our nation’due south markets and investors and makes it harder for honest businesses to compete. Our Office and the Department of Justice accept fabricated it clear that prosecuting corporations and their corrupt executives who flagrantly violate the law are peak priorities.” —
, U.s.a. Chaser for the Eastern District of New York.
A brief timeline of Ozy Media’due south undoing
New York Times investigation
reveals former Ozy
attempted to deceive investors by impersonating a YouTube executive on a call with Goldman Sachs. Watson deceptively tries to pass off the professional misconduct as Rao’s “personal mental health issue.” Days later, a journalist who left the BBC subsequently a thirty-year long stint to join Ozy,
quits the company. As does billionaire investor
Marc Lasry, Ozy’s chairman. Separately, media personality
rock star Ozzy Osbourne’s wife
Watson lied near the couple investing in the business, calculation that “this guy is the biggest shyster I have e’er seen in my life”.
shuts downward. And so days afterward, Watson claims it’s “open for concern” again.
Feb. 8, 2023:
Watson tries to stage a comeback, rebranding Ozy equally a “fresh,” “hip,” digital media outlet in a 30 minute presentation to potential advertisers and investors, co-ordinate to
a Semafor report.
February. 14, 2023:
The company’due south former chief of staff, Suzee Han,
to securities fraud conspiracy and wire fraud conspiracy, according to federal court documents.
Feb. 21, 2023:
old chief operating officer,
pleads guilty to securities fraud conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy and identity theft. He
to a guess that he fabricated misleading statements to investors and inflated the company’s finances.
February. 23, 2023:
Watson is arrested at
a Manhattan hotel
and taken into custody. Federal prosecutors accuse him with conspiring to commit securities fraud and conspiring to commit wire fraud.
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